It seems as though no Turkish meal is complete without a basket of bread at the table. Whether the staple white bread is so complementing to every meal is, admittedly, debatable. However, it does to show its importance in most Istanbul (dare, we say Turkish) households. So, it shouldn’t be a mystery when there is a line queuing out of your neighbourhood bakery and out unto the sidewalk, every morning..and evening. At least, this is the case with Tarihi Harbiye Fırını – the quarter’s “historical” bakery. And, yes, while there are other bakeries on the same street, this one goes beyond producing the standard, light-as-a-feather-and-likely-whisked-away-by-a-gust-of-wind, white bread.
Tarihi Harbiye Fırını opened its doors in 1948 and continues to be the main fırın (oven and bakery) for Pangaltı locals – and it’s not because of the costumer service. From the moment they open at 5:30 am to the moment they pull down the shutters, there is a constant hustle on both sides of the counter. The team is forever on the move and serving the freshest food from their oven. And it seems like it’s more for the benefit of the bread rather than the customer – we’re just very lucky bystanders. Whether you are grabbing a quick bite or searching for some wonderfully bready complements to your Sunday breakfast, you are only getting the freshest bakes here.
The name of the game every morning is “bread.” This is one of the few places that offer up – decent – variety. renowned for its bread. If you’re searching for something savory (and healthy) try the çavdar ekmeği (rye bread) or their çekirdekli simit (ring bread coated in sunflower seeds). If you have an affinity for the sweet in the morning, try their chocolate açma (bun), a veritable luxury that isn’t available in every bakery. If you are looking for something sweeter – say, dessert? – try their traditional desserts like lokma or tulumba tatlısı (fried dough in syrup).
Finally, and this is what really separates them from the crowd, the next time you try and stuff a huge roast in your miniature convection oven, the bakery will let you borrow theirs. The team here will find the goods and roast it perfectly. Once it’s done, they will deliver it to your door, naturally.
Tarihi Harbiye Fırını
Ergenekon Caddesi No. 25, Pangaltı
(0212) 246 47 32